Coaches & Van Hooijdonk about Ajax-Benfica

Ajax coach Ten Hag: Fantastic to beat Benfica

We are very happy. It was a 50-50 game. Benfica is a strong team. We were lucky that Benfica didn’t score in the begin. Benfica players tried to provoke us and the Bench tried to influence the referee, but we stayed calm and managed to secure our defense in the second half. We also had a great chance but Van der Beek missed. We were still cautious about giving Benfica too much space for the counters. That’s why I brought Neres late in the game. He didn’t disappointed us with his part in the goal. As I said before, Benfica could have won too, that’s why I’m very happy.

 

Benfica coach Rui Vitória: We didn’t deserve this

We are very disappointed with the result. We played well, we could and should have scored early in the game. But if you waste your chances in the Champions League, opponents will punish you. I can not and do not want to accuse a player for the last minute defeat. We will analyze the game and the individual players later. We started well but could not capitalize our chances. We intended to create dangers with counters and with quick passing. And we succeeded but failed to score. We thought the match would end this way. In football there is a saying ” if you can not win at least don’t loose”, that’s why we were more defensive at the end of the game. (Comment: And that proofed to be a costly mistake) Very disappointing to concede a goal in the last minute of added time, but I’m satisfied with our game. We only need to take our chances and win our games.

Van Hooijdonk: Ajax through

The former Benfica, Nottingham Forest & Celtic player who saw some old friends at the game: It was a great game. Very exciting. Both teams were offensive. Both teams could have won. Ajax was the lucky team. Mazraoui was great. He earned already 4 points for his team. Ajax has already 7 points and a 4 points lead over Benfica. Ajax will go to the next stage

 

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